Why Should You Create an Email Distribution List BEFORE Creating Your Microsoft Teams Environments?

In this blog post, you will learn how to create a Microsoft Outlook Email Distribution List so that you and your organization can successfully transition to a Microsoft Teams environment for communication and file sharing.

Is your district thinking about making the transition this year to Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams?  Over the last few months, I have had the opportunity to work with districts across the country, make the decision to transition away from the Google platform, and adopt Microsoft Teams as their primary platform.  The pathway to go from one to the other is not that difficult, but today, we are going to take a look at the first thing that you and your IT staff should consider doing before ever creating your first Microsoft Team.

Why use Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams is an online digital learning environment that is unlike nothing else in education.  Microsoft Teams can be thought of as many things depending on where you sit in an organization. For me, when I train both teachers and administrators on Microsoft Teams, I break it down into two distinct platforms.

  1. A Communications Portal
  2. A District (or organization) owned Hard Drive

The reasoning behind these two distinctions is because, at its core level, Microsoft Teams is a platform built on Microsoft SharePoint technologies.  Meaning, it's a gigantic hard drive.  Secondly, inside Microsoft Teams, lies a pretty awesome communication tool that comes complete with message boards, group chat, as well as a few other pretty awesome applications that can be used to always keep everyone on the right track.

What do Microsoft Outlook Groups have to do with Microsoft Teams?

In this post, we are going to look at the first step that your organization should do when planning out an organization-wide Microsoft Teams environment.  Oddly enough, this process should happen inside of Microsoft Outlook (instead of Teams).

The first thing to consider when creating a vast number of Microsoft Teams (example: one team per school building) is how they will be communicating with each other and how the information will be distributed within those groups.  The best way to create this is by first creating a Microsoft Outlook group.  The Outlook Group gives you everything that a standard “create a Team” setup inside of Microsoft Teams gives you with one key addition.  The Email Distribution Group sets up a unified calendaring system.  This will be helpful down the road once you have all your staff members inside of the team looking to have one unified and internal calendaring system.

Let's look at how to create an Outlook Email Distribution Group today!

As you can see, the process of creating an Email Distribution group is easy.

00:00 – Start
00:36 – Introduction (Outlook for the Web)
00:48 – Why Create Outlook Groups (vs Teams?)
01:24 – How to Create an Outlook Group
02:39 – Public vs Private Groups
03:08 – Add Members to an Outlook Group
04:22 – Closing

Outlook Group is Complete … What is Next?

Once you have mapped out each Microsoft Team that is needed for your organization and have created email distribution groups for them, the next step is to open up Microsoft Teams and create your Teams directly from your Outlook groups.  To learn more about this process, please visit the blog post: How to Create Microsoft Teams from Outlook Groups today!


About the author, Jeffrey Bradbury

Jeff Bradbury, creator of TeacherCast, and father of the famous @EduTriplets Thanks for checking out TeacherCast today. Please take a moment to find me on all of my Social Media channels!